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Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast, Ghana

OFFICE OF PROJECTS AND INVESTMENTS | 1.0  Overview

The office of Projects and Investment is a novelty in the Archdiocese. It has been in existence only since 2012.  It was created by Archbishop Matthias Kobena Nketsiah to take care of the projects and investment concerns of the Archdiocese.

Starting with almost zero investable fund, this newly created Office has been able to facilitate the mobilization of GH₵2,782,056.00 into the Archdiocesan Investment Fund, for various Archdiocesan needs from January, 2013 to December, 2015.

2.0 Creation of Project and Investment Office

In the year 2012, it became necessary for the Archbishop to create a Project and Investment Office in addition to the Offices for the Bursar and Development.

Among other compelling reasons that influenced the creation of the office were:

i)                    The steady growth of the Archdiocese requiring related growth in the financial resources;
ii)                  The changing trends of the sources of finances in the Archdiocese ; and
iii)                The need to provide financial leadership for our Parishes and other stakeholders of the Archdiocese.
 
2.1  The First Major Initiative of the Investment Office:
The first major initiative of the Office was facilitating a critical review of the financial situation of the Archdiocese. This review resulted in the introduction of ‘’Essential Financial Policies of the Archdiocese’’.
 
With the mandate from the Archbishop and in collaboration with the Offices of the Vicar General, Bursar and Development, the Investment Office organized seminars and workshops at different levels and for different groups, within the Archdiocese, to discuss the challenging financial state of the Archdiocese.  Honest discussions and contributions formed the basis of the ‘’Essential Financial Policies of the Archdiocese’’. 
 
The Archbishop made the members of the Administrative Board of the Archdiocese go through these revised financial policies and when they had given their assent at their July 2012 meeting they endorsed the revised financial policies of the Archdiocese entitled “Essential Financial Policies of the Archdiocese” to become the new financial pathway of the Archdiocese with effect from January 2013.

3.0 Major Objectives of the Financial Policies

3.1.1 The broader Objectives

  • To provide financial leadership at the Archdiocesan level with the view of helping parishes and institutions cultivate the habit of savings and investment.
     
  • To provide a more organized and efficient financial system of operation in the Archdiocese.
     
  • To help the Archdiocese build funds to respond to her essential financial needs, which are critical to her existence as a diocese; such as formation of future priests.
     
  • To motivate our priests, who are the principal agents of evangelization in our parishes and institutions, by way of providing relatively decent monthly allowances and an additional financial plan towards their old age or retirement.

 

The Specific Objectives – Below is the 5 year projections for the Fund: {Amount in GH₵}
 
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
10%  Inv. Contribution 267,000.00 574,050.00 927,157.00 927,157.00 1,800,215.0
Develop. / Seminary  133,500.00 267,025.00 463,578.00   666,615     900,107
Priests’  Indiv. Fund 103,500.00 227,700.00 376,740.00 555,588.0 770,205.00
TOTAL 504,000.00 1,068,775 1,767472 2,555,434 3,470,527
 
           
         
 

Achievements after Three Years –

i)    Financial relationship between the Archdiocese and the Parishes is continually being strengthened. Preparation of monthly Accounts and prompt payment of contributions due Archdiocese have almost become a norm in the parishes. 
 
The conduct of the Archdiocesan Investment Fund has guided parishes to set aside some funds with the diocese, apart from the financial resources at the parish level. Already this has proven to be of great benefit to most of the parishes and it has  also pointed to a potential that hitherto had not been recognized. 
 
ii)    The overall projection we made for the end of 2015 or third year was  exceeded by 57%
This suggests that we underestimated the potential of the Fund from the very onset and has called for a revision of the final two years of our 5 year Projections. Initially, our projection for the 5 years was Gh₵3,470,527.00 but we have reviewed it upward to Gh₵5,184,000.00, which is a 49% upward increase 
 
iii)     Financing the Construction of Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre and Supporting Amisano Seminary Renovation works from the Development and Seminary Fund were part of our developmental plans for the year.
The major priority, in terms of the infrastructural needs of the Archdiocese, identified in last year’s Budget Statement was the continuation of the construction of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre at Brafoyaw. A sum of Gh₵250,000.00 was budgeted to come from the Development and Seminary Fund to help finance this construction works. A total of Gh₵432,500.00 was spent on this to ensure that the project was brought to an appreciable level.
In addition, the Fund provided Gh₵56,000.00 for renovation works at Amisano Seminary.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

4.0 Potential and Challenges

4.1 The three-year performance of the AIF portrays that it has a great potential. 
 
4.2 Nevertheless, the Fund has not yet reached its full potential.

The Fund will grow even bigger and faster if the Archdiocesan Central Administration and the Fund Manager will work on the following challenges:
i) Defaulters – Ensure the number of defaulting parishes is negligible. Continue to let the contributors appreciate the goal and benefits of the Fund. Make defaulting parishes, without justification, pay their arrears or apply sanctions stipulated in the ‘Financial Policy’ to ensure they all comply.
 
ii) Contribution to Priests’ Retirement – Much as the general performance of the Fund has been very good the past 3 years, contribution to Priests Individual Retirement Fund has consistently fallen below the target. The explanation is that most priests working in educational institutions, hospital chaplains and those in the Army are still not contributing to the Fund.
 
The Archdiocese will need to clarify the financial arrangement that the diocese, on one hand, and our priests on the other, have with various institutions benefiting from priestly services. Institutions need to know their specific financial obligation towards the priests serving them in the light of the new “Essential Financial Policies of the Archdiocese”. When this is done contributions expected from priests under this category will most likely be forthcoming.

5.0 Hopeful End

Despite the challenges, the AIF, after three years has been a success.  Well managed and promoted, it will surely be a pathway towards overcoming the perennial financial challenges the Archdiocese has been facing over the years.

6. 0 “ESSENTIAL FINANCIAL POLICIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CAPE COAST”

EFFECTIVE JANUARY, 2013

I. Statutory Parish Contribution and Levy to the Archdiocese

  1. Parish Contribution to the Archdiocese. Each parish in the Archdiocese shall contribute 20% of her income to support the running of the Archdiocese. Fifteen percent (15%) of this will serve as the traditional Parish Contribution to the Archdiocese. Five (5%) shall be a contribution to the Archdiocesan Development and Seminary Fund (DevSem Fund).The percentage of parish contribution is subject to revision.
     
  2. Statutory Investment Levy
To ensure that Parishes in the Archdiocese cultivate the habit of making savings and investment, each Parish shall pay 10% of its total monthly income to be invested in the Archdiocesan Investment Fund (AIF). This amount shall be invested by the Archdiocese for the benefit of the Parish. The two principal goals for this ‘investment levy’ are help a Parish acquire a means of transport for pastoral work, when the need arises, and/or help her undertake some significant project.​

II. Establishment Of and Contribution into the Archdiocesan Investment Fund (AIF)

  1. Establishment of an “Archdiocesan Investment Fund” (AIF)
    The Archbishop has mandated an establishment of an Archdiocesan Investment Fund.
    The objectives of the AIF are:
    i)                    To serve as Savings and Loans for parishes and other institutions in the short term, and
    ii)                  To serve as a Mini Bank in the medium and long term.
    The Goals of the AIF are:
    i)                    To promote savings and investment culture among parishes and institutions of the Archdiocese;
    ii)                  To pay a competitive interest on deposit, using the Treasury Bill rate as a benchmark; and
    iii)                Adhere to essential banking principles but do away with unnecessary transactional complexities associated with the traditional banks. 
     
  2. Contribution to the Archdiocesan Investment Fund.
    There shall be two main sources of contribution into the AIF:
    i)                    By Statutory Investment Levies from the Parishes; and
    ii)                  Other Discretional Investment of the Stakeholders; other interested persons and organizations.
     
  3. Payment of Statutory Levies and Parish contribution to the Archdiocese.
     
    a)      Time of Payment
    Payment of 10% Investment Levy and 20% Parish Contribution to the Archdiocese shall be strictly on monthly basis. The monthly payment shall be made in the 2nd week of the following month; namely, 2nd Monday – Friday of the following month. 
     
    b)      Consideration for the Outstations
    Where it is difficult to collate and make payment of the Outstations’ contribution and levies to the Archdiocese on monthly basis, such payment to the Archdiocese [the Outstations’ component] may be made on quarterly basis; on the 2nd Monday – Friday of the months of January, April, July and October.
      
    c)      Contribution in arrears and Sanctions
    After the 2nd week in the preceding month, the payment of contribution to the Archdiocesan Bursar’s Office and Archdiocesan Investment Fund will be considered pass due.
     
    d)     Query and Sanction for Delayed Payment
    i)                    The Parish in arrears shall receive a reminder between the third and fourth week of the month
     
    ii)                  After the reminder, there shall be a monthly default levy of Gh¢100.00 and the President of the Parochial Council shall be informed accordingly. The monthly default levy shall be subject to review.
     
    iii)                If a parish is in default for 2 months, the Parish Priest will be called to the Archbishop’s office.
     
    iv)                If it becomes apparent that the Parish Priest is either unable to handle the basic finances of the parish or non-cooperative, he may be relieved of the financial responsibilities of the parish. 
III.         Allowances for Priests and Contribution towards Priests’ Retirement Fund
 
  1. Monthly Allowance and Contribution towards Priest’s Retirement.
    With effect from the beginning of the Archdiocesan Financial Year, 1st January, 2013, each parish or institution enjoying a full time priestly services shall incorporate into its budget a monthly payment of Gh¢150.00 for the priest. Gh¢75.00 will be his monthly allowance while the remaining Gh¢75.00 will be a contribution towards his Retirement Fund.  This amount will be subject to periodic revision.
    The time of payment of premium into the Priest’s Retirement Fund shall be the same as the other Archdiocesan levies and contributions; namely, 2nd Monday – Friday of the previous month.

    Masses will still be offered for the intention of the Ordinary of the Archdiocese and the stipends will come to the common Priests’ Fund.
     
  2. Revision of Other Priest’s Allowances, with effect from 1st January, 2013:
Clothing Allowance Gh¢200.00
Holiday Allowance Gh¢ 100.00
Viaticum per day Gh¢ 8.00

{These allowances shall be subject to a periodic revision}

IV. POLICIES ON PARISH PROJECTS AND INVESTMENT

1.  Policies relating to Projects and Investment

a)      It is recommended that parishes which do not have major projects in progress should invest their surplus funds in the Archdiocesan Investment Fund for attractive returns. This will help them mobilize substantial fund for a significant future project(s).

b)      i.  With effect from 1st April, 2013, Parishes engaged in income generating projects should submit to the Archbishop, through the Development Office, reports on the General Operations and Financial Statements of the projects.
ii. Thereafter, such report on income generating projects shall be submitted on annual basis.
c)      By 1st October, 2013, all Parishes shall submit to the Office of the Archbishop their major Projects and/or Development agenda for a period of at least 5 years.
This Five (5) Year Project / Development Plan shall address the following key points:

i) {For Projects aimed at satisfying Pastoral, Spiritual and Social Needs – e.g. Church buildings, presbyteries, Parish halls.}

  • ​The specific needs the project intends to address or satisfy;
  • An estimated number of beneficiaries;
  • The time of completion of the project; and
  • How the Parish plans to finance the said project.
  • plans to finance the Project.
    d)  The 5 Year Project / Development Plan could be broken down in phases (one, two years etc.)

2.  Project Levy

There shall be a “project levy”, not exceeding 10%, on successful Project Proposal or grant to cater for Supervision and Administrative cost of the project.

Signed:
Most Rev. Matthias K. Nketsiah     
Archbishop of Cape Coast              
 
Signed:                                           Signed:
Fr. Hilary Aidoo                                Fr. James Essuon  
Bursar                                             Director of Investment

7.0 THE DIRECTOR OF PROJECT AND INVESTMENT

VERY REV. FR. JAMES KNOSES ESSUON
 
PROFILE / CIRRICULUM VITAE

Academics:

a)     Schools and Degrees:

2009-2011      Refresher courses in Leadership and Change, Stock Options and Futures at Fordham University, New York, as Alumnus;

Pursued Online Stock Market Trading and Investment.

  • 1989-1992    MBA, Professional Accounting – Fordham University, New York
     
  • 1979-1985          Diploma in Theology – University of Ghana; St. Peter’s Regional Seminary, Cape Coast, Ghana
     
  • 1972-1979          St. Teresa’s Seminary, High School, Elmina, Ghana


Date and Place of Birth:
November 24, 1958 at Cape Coast, Ghana
 

b) Practical Academic Works:

  • 1999-2007; 2013 – to date Part Time Lecturer, St. Peter’s Regional Seminary; taught and still teaching Accounting and Parish Administration to Post graduate students.
  • 2012 – to date Instructor of Sisters Leadership Initiative (SLDI) and ASEC
  • 2012    Organized Workshop on Financial Management and Investment for Priests and Laity of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast.
  • 1995-2007  Organized Periodic Workshops in Bookkeeping and Financial Management for Treasurers of Religious and Diocesan Institutions in Ghana and Other West African countries. 

c)   Computer Knowledge – Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel; and have some knowledge in Power Point and Access. Very Proficient in Quickbooks. ~ I designed and computerized the Accounting System of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast and parishes under it with Quickbooks.

 

Work and Professional Experience:

  • 1985             Ordained Catholic Priest
  • 1985-1986    Associate Pastor, St. Michael’s Parish, Ajumako-Bisease
  • 1986-1989    Secretary to the Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • 1993-1995   Assistant Financial Administrator, Archdiocese of Cape Coast
  • 1995-2007   Financial Administrator (Chancellor) of Archdiocese of Cape Coast
  • 2007-2012         St. Clare’s Parish, Staten Island, New York  Associate Pastor
  • 2012-         Director of Projects and Investment for Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast

Boards Served

  1. Board of Directors of Catholic Mission Press Company Ltd. ~ 1995-2007
  2. Administrative Board of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast ~ 1993-2007; 2013
  3. Finance Committee of the National Catholic Secretariat, Ghana ~ 1998-2007

Contact Form

CONTACT DETAILS

Director: Very Rev. Fr. James Knoses Essuon

Email: projects-investments@archcapegh.org

Tel: +233 (0) 20 4951397